This story has ground to a complete halt now. I might revisit the whole thing in a year or two and re-write with a bit more forethought and intent.
Also, the home page image has nothing to do with the content of this post, there’s not enough content to work with for a relevant and that image isn’t likely to ever be used otherwise.
Kid was half-hiding behind Alec’s solid form, peering around with a strange mix of hope and fear on his face.
Alec watched the newly-revealed Stromsmere king, as emotions too complex and numerous to interpret chased across his features.
He stepped forward, then stopped as Kid retreated further behind Alec. “Kiron. Why are you hiding?”
Kid’s chin wobbled, words refusing to come and tears starting.
Mellisande made an exasperated sound and knelt next to Kid, gently drawing him into her arms. He went, but lunged back when Alec shifted his weight and the hold on his hand slipped.
“I’m not going anywhere.” Alec scooped up the now-sobbing child after a worried glance from Mellisande. Hugging Kid close, he walked to where Rodin stood.
Princess Isolde looked distressed. “Why isn’t he happy to see his father again?”
Lady Aurelia shook her head. “I’m sure he is. It’s just a little overwhelming for him. Children’s emotions can be bigger than they are at times and they struggle to cope.”
Alec spoke to the blonde mop mashed into his neck. “Can I give you to your papa to hold? I think he needs to know you’re real.”
The sobs continued but Kid gave a small nod, and his arms loosened a little. Alec moved closer to Rodin, then turned Kid in his arms. The little boy looked over, then launched himself at his father.
Rodin staggered slightly as he took the full force of Kid’s embrace, wrapping his arms around the small body now clinging to him and gritting his teeth against tears of his own.